Blog archive: All

  • 10th February 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A 27-year-old Egyptian rights activist was detained on arrival at Cairo airport on Friday and now faces multiple charges: Publishing rumours and false news intended to disturb social peace and sow chaos. Incitement to protest without permission from the relevant authorities with the aim...
  • 6th February 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The war in Yemen is complicated and it can be difficult to keep track of what's happening on the ground, not to mention the related peace efforts. A new report from the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies is a useful starting point for anyone wanting a quick catch-up – well, relatively quick, since...
  • 3rd February 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Rebels in Syria used a gas chamber to murder dozens of civilian captives, a university professor has claimed. The claim – which is not supported by any evidence – formed part of a Powerpoint presentation that Edinburgh University professor Paul McKeigue showed to a meeting in London last month...
  • 31st January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last October a mysterious whistleblower surfaced in Brussels complaining of irregularities in the OPCW's investigation of a suspected chemical attack in Douma, Syria. "Alex" – as the whistleblower asked to be called – claimed that in an effort to shape the investigation towards a "pre-ordained"...
  • 30th January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Among the leaked documents in the OPCW whistleblower affair is an account of a meeting between four of the organisation's staff and a group of toxicologists. The toxicologists were shown photos and videos of alleged victims from what was suspected to be a chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria....
  • 27th January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A former Director of Special Forces in the British army appeared on Russia's RT channel on Sunday, talking about the OPCW's investigation of a suspected chemical attack in Douma, Syria. Retired Major General John Holmes is a board member of the British Syrian Society along with President...
  • 21st January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On Monday, Russia stepped up its campaign against identifying the perpetrators of chemical attacks in Syria with a specially-convened meeting at the UN. Though held under the auspices of the Security Council, it was what is known as an "Arria" meeting – a discussion that's not treated as formal...
  • 18th January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Banned chemical weapons have been used repeatedly during the Syrian conflict and in most cases, if not quite all of them, the Assad regime is the obvious suspect. By its own admission the regime had stockpiles of chemical weapons, and almost all the reported attacks struck rebel-held areas....
  • 17th January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On 6 June 2018, four staff from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons met a group of toxicologists in connection with the investigation of a suspected chlorine attack in Douma, Syria. As part of the investigation the OPCW initially proposed exhuming bodies from mass graves...
  • 2nd January 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Many of the recent claims about "irregularities" in the OPCW's investigation of a suspected chemical attack in Syria revolve around an employee called Ian Henderson. His exact role has been a matter of dispute but now leaked documents give a clearer picture. * * * In a report last March the...
  • 23rd December 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Recently-leaked documents disprove claims by a whistleblower that the OPCW doctored a draft report of its investigation into a suspected chemical attack in Syria. They also cast doubt on claims that the views of staff were systematically ignored. They do, however, confirm a dispute involving one...
  • 18th December 2019
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A column by Melanie Phillips in last week's issue of the Jewish Chronicle has been causing dismay both inside and outside Britain's Jewish community – so much so that on Tuesday the paper's editor issued an apology "to any reader who is angered or upset by the piece". He also promised two...

Pages